Report: Pelicans in hot pursuit of Monroe

Veteran big man Greg Monroe has found a new home with the Raptors.

It appears Greg Monroe’s time as a free agent will be short lived.

ESPN’S Adrian Wojnarowski reports the impending free agent — who agreed to a buyout on what was left of his $17.8 million salary this season and will become a free agent once he clears waivers — is being pursued heavily by the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans recently suffered a devastating loss when All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon.

Wojnarowski writes:

New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry spoke to Monroe in the aftermath of his contract buyout with the Phoenix Suns late Wednesday night, and New Orleans will continue to make an aggressive push to sign Monroe, league sources said.

The Pelicans ability to offer Monroe the chance at a starting job — in his childhood hometown — is making for a compelling case with Monroe, league sources said.

The report said Monroe could made a decision on where to head by Friday or Saturday. The 27-year-old averaged 11.2 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes a game with Phoenix this season after being deal there by Milwaukee earlier this season.

Wojnarowski said Boston could offer Monroe more money, but playing time would be a big drawback.

The Boston Celtics are interested in Monroe and can offer him more money for the balance of the season than New Orleans can, but his potential role would be far more limited with the Celtics. Boston can pay Monroe out of its $8.4 million disabled player exception for Gordon Hayward, but playing time appears to be a major factor in Monroe’s decision, league sources said.